Movie Review: Free Guy

During my blog hiatus, I came across a new-to-me movie on Disney+. Free Guy came out last year, but somehow it sailed under the radar for me completely. Directed by Shawn Levy, it’s a movie that takes place inside a video game. Ryan Reynolds stars as an NPC : a background character that only exists to fill out the scenes for the players. He has only the barest of backstories: he works in a bank, and he likes coffee. Each day, he wakes up and makes the exact same decisions as he did the day before, just like everyone else he knows. True, there are always these bizarre people running through his world, doing crazy things like stealing cars or shooting guns just for fun, but that’s just part of his normal.

Until it isn’t.

He begins to break out of his pre-determined role, and the movie develops from there. Honestly, it’s a film I thought I would just sort of see and then forget about. With that sort of premise, I was expecting something in the vein of other video game movies: perhaps some cool special effects, and it would be diverting enough for an hour or two, but nothing to write home about.

Instead, I got a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. Ryan Reynolds is his usual talkative, funny self. Think Deadpool, but much (much) tamer. It’s PG-13, mainly for a whole slew of video game violence, but nothing that really pushed the edge. The plot wasn’t predictable, the pacing was snappy, the special effects were great.

Now, I’m sure some of the reason I loved it so much was that I had non-existent expectations. A movie that can really come out of nowhere to surprise me like that is often one of my favorite sort of movies. But more than that, it was a film that took its premise seriously. I don’t mean that it’s a serious movie, but rather that it treated its fantasy world consistently, putting in thought as to how it would all play out, and how a character like Guy might view the world. That’s refreshing.

In any case, I gave it a 9/10. It’s definitely worth your while if it sounds even remotely up your alley. Already seen it? I’d love to know what you thought!

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